Survey: What Are The Most Popular Holistic Therapies Being Used In Hospice Care?

In a phone interview survey, researchers from Bastyr University assessed the prevalence and use of integrative medicine techniques (or CAM – complementary and alternative medicine) by hospices in the state of Washington.

The response rate was 100%. Results indicated that 86% of Washington State hospices offered CAM services to their patients.

Within that 86 percent, in order of popularity, the results were:

  • therapeutic massage (87%)
  • music therapy (74%)
  • energy healing (65%)
  • aromatherapy (45%)
  • guided imagery (45%)
  • therapeutic touch (42%)
  • acupuncture (32%)
  • pet therapy (32%)
  • meditation (29%)
  • art therapy (22%)
  • reflexology (19%)
  • hypnotherapy (16%)

Most hospices relied on volunteers, and/or small donations to offer such services. As a result of this study, it was determined that these interventions are widely used and that this warrants integrating them into hospice budgets and staffing.

Citation: Kozak LE1, Kayes L, McCarty R, Walkinshaw C, Congdon S, Kleinberger J, Hartman V, Standish LJ. Use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by Washington State hospices. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care. 2008 Dec-2009 Jan;25 (6):pages 463-8. [email protected]

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